On their second full-length release, The Bynars return with a fuzzier, more synth-driven take on their brand of dance rock. Rich electronic layering takes the place of their 2011 self-titled’s fusion of pop rock and modern, spacey production, creating something that is fun and mindless, but also highly detailed in construction.
There is a distinct ‘70s-‘80s electro party vibe present on the album; “Blow” makes a strong nod to the hits of Duran Duran, as well as Bowie’s “Fame.” “All I Wanna Do Is Have Some Fun Tonight” is nearly 12 minutes long, and in that time offers up an addictive, driving instrumental that could fit in as an outro for a coming-of-age flick or a dramatic crime drama just as easily.
There are instances where X Vs. X sounds more like a mash-up album than a studio recording, like on “Tired Of Hooking Up With You,” which is built on a hip-hop beat rather than dancey drums. Featuring a verse by rapper ATM, its attempt at bridging the gap between two genres is genuine in intent, but it feels awkward in execution, as the rest of the song fails to make any sort of nod to the hip-hop influence which was hinted at the start. Some guitar slams take on a heavy, industrial-yet-commercial feel, à la Nine Inch Nails, giving some of the tracks a frizzy edge, much welcome among the synthetic hullabaloo.
On X Vs. X, The Bynars offer up just about everything a person can ever seem to get out of synthpop: It is sexy, sometimes dark, but always in search of a good time and an opportunity to dance. There are a lot of silly, corny lyrics about unique concepts such as taking someone else’s girl home from the club, but chances are that someone listening to this isn’t in search of true poetry anyway.
In A Word: Eccentric